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If you can't face the consequences, just don't do it

"I have faced all sorts of problems. My request is for justice to be retained in this society. We have the principle of loving-kindness for everyone. We work for the country and our good intentions should be taken into account. The law should not be used to affect other people's rights.

"If that is the case, there will be trouble for us; our country's development will be in trouble. But the focus seems to be on strictly enforcing the law in a way that affects other people's rights, without taking real intentions into account. We [the government] hope to get understanding, justice and sympathy."

This appeal came from Yingluck Shinawatra - Thailand's first female prime minister.

She made the appeal after learning that the Constitutional Court had ruled that her government's bill to borrow Bt2 trillion was unconstitutional. She appeared resentful and seemed to suggest that the country's judicial system was going after her and her government in a harsh manner.

Perhaps this appeal won a lot of sympathy from many people - it's easy to feel sorry for her and sympathise over the fact that she has faced so much trouble since taking the country's top post. Yet others might consider the need to keep sympathy and responsibility separate.

Common sense dictates that people must take responsibility for what they do - whether the consequence of that action is good or bad. Refusing to take responsibility for one's actions is wrong.

This principle should also be applied to the prime minister - she needs to be responsible for what is done while she is in office.

Yingluck said she wanted the public "to look at the real intentions and not use law to affect other people's rights".

This point is very important. The law should always be followed, and those who violate it should be ready to face consequences, instead of refusing to take responsibility or asking law enforcers to consider their "real intentions".

Many people may still remember that since this government took over, several politicians, including the PM, have insisted that everything they have done and will do is "absolutely correct". If they are so confident that they have done nothing wrong, then why are they afraid of facing the consequences?

There is nothing wrong with taking responsibility for one's action. Why be embarrassed? In fact, one should deserve praise for being courageous. If one is not ready to take responsibility for what one has done, then why do it in the first place?

This Bt2-trillion case is just one of the many filed against Yingluck, and she is already complaining and asking for justice. If her reaction to the Constitutional Court's verdict is any indication, she is likely to come out to complain publicly many more times.

If the politicians do not have any proper defences to put forward publicly, then they are probably better off keeping quiet. Delivering emotional public appeals will end up doing more harm than good to their image and reputation. In fact, several politicians have learned this lesson the hard way.

Political leaders and government heads should have the courage to accept liability for their actions and not use emotions to cover the truth.

Whether the consequence is good or bad, they should be ready to admit to their mistakes, because by taking responsibility, they are more likely to win praise than be scolded.


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